Miles Sanders

RB Miles Sanders Eyeing New Eagles Deal

The Eagles entered the 2022 campaign with significant expectations, and their performance during the regular season has Philadelphia positioned as Super Bowl contenders. A key member of the team’s offense is looking to parlay his production into a new contract once their playoff run is over.

Running back Miles Sanders is a pending free agent, which could put him in line to be one of the more sought-after players at the position this March. If he has his way, however, he will be able to remain with the Eagles in 2023 and beyond by virtue of signing a new deal.

The 25-year-old had a down year in terms of yardage totals in 2021 by virtue of missing time with an ankle injury. However, his 5.5 yards per carry average was a career best, showcasing his potential when healthy and leading to heightened expectations for the 2022 campaign. Sanders responded by comfortably setting new personal benchmarks in rushing yards (1,269) and touchdowns (11). Those figures ranked fifth and fourth in the NFL, respectively, and led to his first Pro Bowl selection.

Having showcased his potential, the former second-rounder has no doubt boosted his free agent value in the event he hits the open market. Sanders could join what is shaping up to be a loaded free agent class at the position, one which has in recent years become notably devalued. The lack of progress on contract talks with the Eagles last offseason, and his overall status relative to the league’s top tailbacks drove his career-year, though.

“We try to ignore all the stuff that’s being said about us, but we hear it, we see it,” Sanders said, via ESPN’s Tim McManus“I just tuck it in… Especially when I’m training, I’m thinking like, ‘OK, I really don’t have no respect out here. Why don’t people respect me?’ Stuff like that going through my head. I just wanted to earn a lot of respect. And the only way I knew how to do that was work, work, work.”

The Eagles are currently projected to rank mid-pack in the league in terms of offseason cap space, and already have rotational backs Kenneth Gainwell and Trey Sermon under contract for 2023. Quarterback Jalen Hurts – who put himself in the MVP conversation this year with his own breakout performance – is also eligible for an extension, so talks on that front will undoubtedly be a top priority in the near future.

Sanders’ play in the postseason could affect his ranking in the pending free agent class, which could also include former Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley. Regardless of how the former (who added that he “loves” Philadelphia) fares in the divisional round this weekend, he will be a name to watch as the offseason begins to unfold.

Eagles RB Miles Sanders Expects To Play Week 1

The new-look Eagles offense will be on display tomorrow. While the team’s passing attack will be the main focus of attention, their top running back will likely be on the field as well. 

When asked whether he would be available for Philadelphia’s season opener against the Lions, Miles Sanders responded, “Absolutely. Ready to go” (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer).

Sanders has been dealing with a hamstring injury recently. That led, in part, to speculation during roster cutdowns that the Eagles could be eyeing an addition in the backfield. They did indeed make a notable move, claiming 2021 third-rounder Trey Sermon off waivers from the 49ers, bringing another competitor into a crowded position room.

Sermon will look to occupy a complimentary role with his new team, but Sanders should once again operate as the lead back. He was the full-time starter in 2021, a year in which he was limited to 12 contests due to an ankle injury. He put up career-lows in rushing (754) and receiving (158) yards, but averaged a career-high 5.5 yards per carry. The former second-rounder played a key role in the Eagles’ midseason shift to a run-heavy offense which led to a league-leading ground attack.

Entering a contract year, a healthy campaign would not only help the Eagles maintain their effectiveness in the run game, but boost Sanders’ free agent stock as well. Being available for Week 1 will certainly help his cause on that front, and make him a key piece of the Eagles’ offense during a season with heightened expectations.

Eagles Finalize 53-Man Roster

Here is how the Eagles reached the 53-man limit Tuesday:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Placed on IR:

The Eagles added two veteran receivers this offseason, with one of them (A.J. Brown) bumping Jalen Reagor down the depth chart. Zach Pascal, who has played for Nick Sirianni previously (in Indianapolis), may also be a factor. But the Eagles, despite their moves at receiver and offseason trade rumors that engulfed Reagor, still have the 2020 first-round pick rostered. The TCU product is also coming off a solid preseason.

Howie Roseman said the Eagles, who have two QBs on their active roster, are planning to add a third — either a practice squad arm or a legit third-stringer — soon, and The Athletic’s Zach Berman and Bo Wulf note running back remains on the radar. The team kept three — Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenneth Gainwell — but Sanders has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

Philadelphia’s receiver setup and a long football layoff did not leave much room for Allen, who has a rather notable career on which to fall back. A two-time U.S. Olympian in the 110-meter hurdles, Allen came to Eagles training camp after a controversial false-start infraction denied the medal favorite the opportunity to vie for gold on his home track at the World Track and Field Championships. The Oregon alum, whose 12.84-second time at a meet this summer is the third-fastest clocking ever in the 110 hurdles, caught a deep touchdown during the preseason but may well move back to his primary sport soon.

Ward became needed during the Eagles’ injury-plagued receiver seasons of 2019 and ’20; he caught 53 passes in the latter campaign. The ex-college QB was not used as much last season, catching seven balls in 17 games. The Eagles kept three rookie UDFAs (cornerback Josh Jobe, safety Reed Blankenship and offensive lineman Josh Sills).

Eagles’ Miles Sanders Active For WC Game

The Eagles learned they will have a key piece to their offense back when they look to upset the defending champions on Sunday. Starting running back Miles Sanders will be active for the team’s Wild Card game against the Buccaneers (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Zach Berman). 

When speaking to the media, head coach Nick Sirianni said “No limitations for Miles. He’ll be our guy”, clearing the way for the 24-year-old to potentially carry a starter’s workload. Sanders has been out of the lineup since suffering a broken bone in his hand in Week 16. That put an end to what had been a productive third season in the NFL. In 12 games, Sanders totalled 754 rushing yards on 137 carries, along with 26 catches for 158 yards. While he failed to find the endzone, his 5.5 yards per carry were a career high, and he seemed to be on his way to a third consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performance prior to the injury.

Sanders hasn’t been the only piece in the Eagles’ league-leading rushing attack, of course. The team has gotten contributions from fifth-round rookie Kenneth Gainwell (544 scrimmage yards, six total touchdowns), along with veterans Boston Scott (456 and seven) and Jordan Howard (425 and three). Four running backs with over 400 total yards each is impressive enough, but that stat doesn’t even include the team’s leading rusher, quarterback Jalen Hurts, with 784 yards.

The Eagles will bring a full running back committee to Tampa Bay, hoping to continue its midseason transformation as a ground-and-pound team to pull off an upset.

Latest On Eagles’ Miles Sanders

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed that running back Miles Sanders broke a bone in his hand yesterday (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). That’ll rule him out for this week’s game against Washington, but there’s hope that he’ll be able to return sometime after that.

The Eagles cruised to a 34-10 win over the Giants yesterday, thanks in part to an efficient showing from Sanders. Before his early exit, the 24-year-old tallied 45 yards off of just seven carries. And, just last week against WFT, Sanders amassed 131 yards off of 18 totes. Through 12 games, Sanders has averaged 5.5 yards per carry, the highest mark of his young career.

At 8-7, the Eagles control their own destiny. They can clinch their playoff spot with wins over Washington and Dallas, but it’ll be a little tougher without Sanders. In the interim, they’ll lean on rookie Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Jordan Howard to keep the chains moving. Howard was also taken out of yesterday’s game with a stinger, but Sirianni says he could be cleared to play before Sunday afternoon.

Eagles To Activate RB Miles Sanders From IR

SATURDAY: Philadelphia will have its starting running back available Sunday, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweeting the veteran running back is off IR and back on the active roster. The Eagles have seen Howard and Scott fare well in Sanders’ absence, forming a three-pronged rushing attack with Jalen Hurts, Nick Sirianni said Sanders will return to his role as Philly’s starter (via ESPN.com’s Tim McManus, on Twitter).

WEDNESDAY: Miles Sanders is back at practice. The Eagles running back was designated to return from IR today, according to the team (on Twitter). Sanders’ 21-day practice clock now starts, meaning the RB should be back by Week 15 (following Philly’s bye) at the latest.

Sanders landed on injured reserve in late October with a knee injury. The team initially thought their starting RB might be able to avoid IR, and it sounds like they’re optimistic that he’ll return when first eligible. That would be this weekend against the Saints.

So far this year, Sanders has amassed 300 rushing yards off of 63 totes, good for a 4.8 yards per carry average. He also has 19 grabs for 118 yards, though he’s yet to find paydirt via the air or the ground. The 24-year-old has amassed 1,985 rushing yards since making his debut in 2019. In 2020, he finished out with a career-high 5.3 ypc and a total of 867 rushing yards despite missing four regular season games.

With Sanders out of the lineup, Jordan Howard and Boston Scott have garnered the majority of the carries, with Kenneth Gainwell also seeing a minor role.

Eagles Place Miles Sanders On IR

The Eagles are placing Miles Sanders on injured reserve with an ankle injury (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Sanders will miss the Birds’ next three games, at minimum, but the hope is that he’ll return soon after he’s eligible to do so. 

Sanders was forced out of Sunday’s 33-22 loss to the Raiders and his ankle hasn’t responded to treatment much over the past week. Now, he’ll be shelved for the next few games against the Lions, Chargers, and Broncos, with a chance to return on Nov. 21 when the Eagles host the Saints.

So far this year, Sanders has amassed 300 rushing yards off of 63 totes, good for a 4.8 yards per carry average. He also has 19 grabs for 118 yards, though he’s yet to find paydirt via the air or the ground.

Sanders, 24, has amassed 1,985 rushing yards since making his debut in 2019. In 2020, he finished out with a career-high 5.3 ypc and a total of 867 rushing yards despite missing four regular season games.

The Eagles are now left with Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott as the only running backs on the 53-man roster. That could open the door for veteran Jordan Howard, who currently resides on the Eagles’ taxi squad.

Injury Updates: T. Brown, Garoppolo, Clowney

Let’s round up a few injury-related items from around the league.

  • Raiders OT Trent Brown is back on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Brown is expected to miss at least a month of action (Twitter link).
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms a report from several days ago that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will not require surgery on his injured ankle, but the 29-year-old signal-caller is expected to miss at least a month (Twitter link). The injury further clouds Garoppolo’s uncertain future in San Francisco.
  • Titans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is out for today’s game against the Bears. He is dealing with a meniscus issue and may ultimately opt for surgery.
  • The Browns have a bye this week, and next time they’re on the field, they hope to be rejoined by Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb (Twitter link via Rapoport). Chubb has been dealing with an MCL injury, and though Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson have played reasonably well in his absence, getting Chubb back will be a big boost to Cleveland’s playoff push.
  • Some may be wondering if WR Odell Beckham has already played his last game for the Browns, as he will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear and has never really embraced Cleveland. Kim Jones of WFAN reports that OBJ will undergo surgery to repair the ACL on Tuesday (Twitter link).
  • Ravens RB Mark Ingram left Baltimore’s game against the Eagles several weeks ago, and he still has not returned to action. Rapoport says Ingram is dealing with a high-ankle sprain (Twitter link), which explains the multi-week absence. Ingram has been ruled out for today’s game against the Colts, but younger backs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins may be the better options anyway.
  • When the Eagles return to their facility following this week’s bye, they expect to have RB Miles Sanders back, and they believe WR Alshon Jeffery will be a full participant in practice (Twitter link via Rapoport).

Eagles Place LB Nathan Gerry On IR

Although the Eagles are nearly double-digit favorites against the Cowboys on Sunday night, they continue to absorb injury-related setbacks. Philly will be without its top tackler for at least three games.

The Eagles placed linebacker Nathan Gerry on IR Friday, while also moving rotational defensive end Genard Avery to the injured list.

An Achilles injury will sideline Gerry, who has a 12-tackle lead among Eagles this season. Gerry has 57 stops (four for loss) and one sack this season — his second as an Eagles starting linebacker. The former safety has dealt with this Achilles problem for a bit now, and the Eagles are hoping a three-week rest will have him fresher for the stretch run, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter).

The Eagles released Nigel Bradham this offseason and did not make notable linebacker investments. Among linebackers, Duke Riley‘s 28 tackles rank second on Philadelphia’s roster.

Philly will also be without Miles Sanders for a second straight week, while Alshon Jeffery‘s 2020 debut will not happen this week. Lane Johnson, however, will not miss any time with his knee injury. He is good to go, giving the Eagles two first-string offensive linemen against the Cowboys.

Eagles’ Miles Sanders Out 1-2 Weeks, Zach Ertz 3-4

Just when it looked like the Eagles might finally be getting some guys, like DeSean Jackson, back from injury, they lose a handful more. Running back Miles Sanders is expected to miss 1-2 weeks with his knee injury, while tight end Zach Ertz will miss 3-4 with a high ankle sprain, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

The hits didn’t stop there, as Mortensen noted in a follow-up tweet that defensive lineman Malik Jackson and offensive tackle Jack Driscoll are both looking at potential two-week absences. The injuries couldn’t come at a worse time for Philly, as they’re now 1-4-1 on the year and preparing for a divisional game against the Giants on Thursday Night Football.

Sanders has been one of the few bright spots on the team this season, and he had 118 yards on only nine carries before going down against Baltimore. Ertz’s injury is brutal since fellow tight end Dallas Goedert is already on injured reserve with an ankle injury of his own. Philly entered the year with a two-headed monster at tight end, and now both are on the shelf.

That being said Goedert is eligible to return as soon as this week, and if he’s able to go against the Giants that would be huge. Ertz hasn’t been putting up the numbers we’re used to seeing from him, and he’s reportedly very frustrated about his contract situation.

Jackson is a starter on defense, so that’s a big loss as well. Driscoll is a fourth-round rookie who found himself starting at right tackle on Sunday after an injury to Lane Johnson. The Eagles were already thin at tackle after the season-ending injury to Andre Dillard in August, and if Johnson isn’t ready to return the situation is going to get dire. It’s just been that type of season for Philadelphia.